Machtey Award

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The Machtey Award is awarded at the annual IEEE Symposium on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS) to the author(s) of the best student paper(s). A paper qualifies as a student paper if all authors are full-time students at the date of the submission. The award decision is made by the Program Committee.

The award is named after Michael Machtey, who was a researcher in the theoretical computer science community in the 1970s.[1] The counterpart of this award at the ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC) is the Danny Lewin Best Student Paper Award.[2]

Past recipients[edit]

Past recipients of the Machtey award are tabulated below.[citation needed]

Year Recipient (University) Paper
2021 Xiao Mao (MIT) "Breaking the Cubic Barrier for (Unweighted) Tree Edit Distance"
2020 Rahul Ilango (MIT) "The Constant Depth Formula and Partial Function Versions of MCSP are Hard"
2019 Jason Li (CMU) "Faster Minimum k-cut of a Simple Graph"
Josh Alman (MIT)
Lijie Chen (MIT)
"Efficient Construction of Rigid Matrices Using an NP Oracle"
2018 Shuichi Hirahara (The University of Tokyo) "Non-black-box Worst-case to Average-case Reductions within NP"
Urmila Mahadev (UC Berkeley) "Classical Verification of Quantum Computation"
2017 Rasmus Kyng (Yale)
Peng Zhang (Georgia Tech)
"Hardness Results for Structured Linear Systems"[3]
2016 Michael B. Cohen (MIT) "Ramanujan Graphs in Polynomial Time"[4]
Aviad Rubinstein (Berkeley) "Settling the Complexity of Computing Approximate Two-Player Nash Equilibria"[5]
2015 Mika Göös (University of Toronto) "Lower Bounds for Clique vs. Independent Set"
Aaron Sidford (MIT)
Yin Tat Lee (MIT)
Sam Chiu-wai Wong (University of California, Berkeley)
"A Faster Cutting Plane Method and its Implications for Combinatorial and Convex Optimization"
2014 Aaron Sidford (MIT)
Yin Tat Lee (MIT)
"Path-Finding Methods for Linear Programming : Solving Linear Programs in Õ(√rank) Iterations and Faster Algorithms for Maximum Flow"
2013 Jonah Sherman (University of California, Berkeley) "Nearly Maximum Flows in Nearly Linear Time" [6]
2012 Nir Bitansky (Tel Aviv University),
Omer Paneth (Boston University)
"From the Impossibility of Obfuscation to a New Non-Black-Box Simulation Technique"
2011 Kasper Green Larsen (Aarhus) "On Range Searching in the Group Model and Combinatorial Discrepancy"
Timon Hertli (ETH Zurich) "3-SAT Faster and Simpler - Unique-SAT Bounds for PPSZ Hold in General"
2010 Aaron Potechin (MIT) "Bounds on Monotone Switching Networks for Directed Connectivity"
2009 Alexander Sherstov (UT Austin) "The intersection of two halfspaces has high threshold degree"
Jonah Sherman (University of California, Berkeley) "Breaking the Multicommodity Flow Barrier for sqrt(log(n))-Approximations to Sparsest Cut"
2008 Mihai Pătraşcu (MIT) "Succincter"
2007 Per Austrin (KTH) "Towards sharp inapproximability for any 2-CSP"
2006 Nicholas J. A. Harvey (MIT) "Algebraic Structures and Algorithms for Matching and Matroid Problems"
2005 Mark Braverman (Toronto) "On the Complexity of Real Functions"
Tim Abbott (MIT),

Daniel Kane (MIT),
Paul Valiant (MIT)

"On the Complexity of Two-Player Win-Lose Games"
2004 Lap Chi Lau (Toronto) "An Approximate Max-Steiner-Tree-Packing Min-Steiner-Cut Theorem"
Marcin Mucha (Warsaw),

Piotr Sankowski (Warsaw)

"Maximum Matchings via Gaussian Elimination"
2003 Subhash Khot (Princeton) "Hardness of Approximating the Shortest Vector Problem in High Lp Norms"
2002 Boaz Barak (Weizmann) "Constant-Round Coin-Tossing With a Man in the Middle or Realizing Shared Random String Model"
Harald Räcke (Paderborn) "Minimizing Congestion in General Networks"
2001 Boaz Barak (Weizmann) "How To Go Beyond the Black-Box Simulation Barrier"
Vladlen Koltun (Tel Aviv) "Almost Tight Upper Bounds for Vertical Decompositions in Four Dimensions"
2000 Piotr Indyk (Stanford) "Stable Distributions, Pseudorandom Generators, Embeddings and Data Stream Computation"
1999 Markus Bläser (Bonn) "A 5/2 n2-Lower Bound for the Rank of n×n Matrix Multiplication over Arbitrary Fields"
Eric Vigoda (Berkeley) "Improved Bounds for Sampling Colorings"
1998 Kamal Jain (Georgia Tech) "Factor 2 Approximation Algorithm for the Generalized Steiner Network Problem"
Daniele Micciancio (MIT) "The shortest vector problem is NP-hard to approximate to within some constant"
1997 Santosh Vempala (CMU) "A Random Sampling Based Algorithm for Learning the Intersection of Half-spaces"
1996 Jon Kleinberg (MIT) "Single-Source Unsplittable Flow"
1995 Andras Benczur (MIT) "A Representation of Cuts within 6/5 Times the Edge Connectivity with Applications"
Satyanarayana V. Lokam (Chicago) "Spectral Methods for Matrix Rigidity with Applications to Size-Depth Tradeoffs and Communication Complexity"
1994 Rakesh K. Sinha,

T.S. Jayram (Washington)

"Efficient Oblivious Branching Programs for Threshold Functions"
Jeffrey C. Jackson (CMU) "An Efficient Membership-Query Algorithm for Learning DNF with Respect to the Uniform Distribution"
1993 Pascal Koiran "A Weak Version of the Blum, Shub & Smale model"
1992 Bernd Gärtner (FU Berlin) "A Subexponential Algorithm for Abstract Optimization Problems"
1991 Anna Gal (Chicago) "Lower bounds for the complexity of reliable Boolean circuits with noisy gates"
Jaikumar Radhakrishnan (Rutgers) "Better Bounds for Threshold Formulas"
1990 David Zuckerman (Berkeley) "General weak random sources"
1989 Bonnie Berger (MIT)
John Rompel (MIT)
"Simulating (logc n)-wise independence in NC"
1988 Shmuel Safra (Weizmann) "On the Complexity of omega-Automata"
1987 John Canny (MIT) "A New Algebraic Method for Robot Motion Planning and Real Geometry"
Abhiram G. Ranade (Yale) "How to Emulate Shared Memory (Preliminary Version)"
1986 Prabhakar Raghavan (Berkeley) "Probabilistic Construction of Deterministic Algorithms: Approximating Packing Integer Programs"
1985 Ravi B. Boppana (MIT) "Amplification of Probabilistic Boolean Formulas"
1984 Joel Friedman (Harvard) "Constructing O(n log n) Size Monotone Formulae for the k-th Elementary Symmetric Polynomial of n Boolean Variables"
1983 Harry Mairson (Stanford) "The Program Complexity of Searching a Table"
1982 Carl Sturtivant (University of Minnesota) "Generalized Symmetries of Polynomials in Algebraic Complexity"
1981 F. Thomson Leighton (MIT) "New Lower Bound Techniques for VLSI"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ List of publications by Michael Machtey at DBLP
  2. ^ ACM SIGACT. "Danny Lewin Best Student Paper Award" Archived June 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "FOCS 2017 Best Paper Awards" (PDF).
  4. ^ "FOCS 2016 Best Paper Awards" (PDF).
  5. ^ "FOCS 2016 Best Paper Awards" (PDF).
  6. ^ "FOCS 2013 Best Paper Awards". Archived from the original on 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2013-12-06.